Those Mysterious Murdering Mormons! Donna Banta’s “False Prophet”

What’s more valuable than life itself? Eternal life? Perhaps. What would drive a person to kill says a lot about what that person values. Following the trail of a murderer, Donna Banta takes you on a wild and scenic tour of the peculiar culture and values of Mormonism in her second Mormon mystery False Prophet.

This book is amazingly fun and entertaining, despite the morbid subject matter. Banta conjures up what is probably the best temple endowment session ever, among other surprises. And who is the false prophet? I’ll bet you won’t guess!

I especially liked how the components of the story fit together, not only to lead to the solution, but also to seamlessly illustrate aspects of Mormonism (that are important for the reader to understand in order to follow the characters’ motivations). To any faithful Mormon readers — don’t worry, this isn’t book to show how evil and murderous Mormons are — portraying murderers are simply part of the murder mystery genre . And I think that faithful LDS who are willing to give this book a chance will really enjoy it. Banta really captured the day-to-day experiences of a perpetually-pregnant Mormon mom.

Now, I’d like to apologize to all the readers here at MSP that it has taken me so many months to write this tiny little review. The main problem was just that the book is so good that I wanted to be sure to do it justice. (As much as I enjoyed her earlier book, I think this one is even better.) Many of you are aware that wanting to do good job on something that has no deadline can be a one-way ticket on the procrastination train. On the plus side, you will not believe how organized my apartment is now!!

Anyway, digressions aside, do yourself a favor get a copy of this book! Especially if you’re a mystery fan and/or if you’d like some fun, light reading, y’know, in case you’re procrastinating something yourself. 😉


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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